The third day of our EGX 2015 coverage was a big one for PlayStation, with talks from Naughty Dog about the Sony exclusive Uncharted Collection and a live Q&A from the President of Sony’s Worldwide Studios. So where better to begin our coverage than in Microsoft’s camp?
Forza Motorsport 6
Graphically, the latest instalment of the long-running racing sim looks stunning, even down to the tiny details of working reflections in the wing mirrors. The rewind feature is still prominent as a unique selling point for the series, but the novelty soon wears off. At its core, Forza is a driving simulator and, as novices to the game, we found the handling rather tricky (as did several gamers around us). No amount of rewinding will help you if you simply cannot get to grips with the basics, which will clearly take more time than a demo setting would allow. You’re encouraged to break into corners and play “properly”, but bumping off them or off of other drivers provides the quickest way to win.
Team 17 Interview
Team 17 have opted for a slightly different art-style in Worms WMD than what we’ve seen in previous iterations, with its hand-drawn landscapes. For the first time in the franchise’s history, players will be able to enter buildings and use vehicles to add an extra layer of strategy on the battlefield. It’s also a Microsoft exclusive, meaning that it will only be released on Windows 10 and Xbox One, so Sony fans will unfortunately miss out on this one.
The British studio are also involved in The Escapists: The Walking Dead; a version of the game based on the comic book which has also been adapted into a very popular TV show. The retro-looking game has one simple premise; escape the prison. There are several ways you can do this and it’s up to the player to find a way and execute it with perfection. The Walking Dead version of the game is the same game as The Escapists at heart (which we covered in more detail for our review) but introduces Rick Grimes and his friends, complete with his infamous sheriff hat. Similarly to Worms WMD, it is also a Microsoft exclusive.
While there are 30 games in the Xbox Rare Replay collection to choose from, as fans of all things platformer, we immediately jumped into Banjo Kazooie. The game is exactly as you would expect in that it’s still the same game we loved way back when. Similarly to the Sega Collection on the PlayStation 3, this may act as a platform to bring the older generation of games to the newer generation of gamers.
Fifa 16 was released in the UK the week of EGX; a launch that we unfortunately missed due to covering said event. Regardless, EGX provided us with our first chance to try out the full game. We enjoyed elements of the demo that came out a few weeks prior, and we were anxious to try out the full game.
The animations are more fluid, dribbling feels more realistic and the better players of the game feel more skilled than the lesser ones purely by the way they move. Pressing shoot too early will make your player have a pop even if the ball’s in the air but a few feet off, so timing is key. Like the transition from Fifa 14 to Fifa 15 before it, not a whole lot has changed in terms of gameplay, but this year’s entry has been solidly tweaked and tightened to build on the successful foundation.
Introversion Software Interview
Prison Architect has been incredibly popular, earning over $19m already from 1.25m sales. From playing it at EGX and sitting down with the team at Introversion Software, we can see why. It feels like the Theme games of old, particularly Theme Hospital. Prison Architect has a top-down view and retro graphics style, and features an open-ended objective of simply building and maintaining a prison. You have to abide by the law and abide by basic human rights, while also making sure that nobody tunnels out of there in true Shawshank fashion.
Rainbow Six: Siege
From what we played, it seems that the concept is better than the execution at this point. The game mode being demoed was similar to Call of Duty’s Search and Destroy, with a hint of Zombie mode thrown in. This was a 5 vs 5 match with one team playing as the attackers and one as the defenders.
The attackers start off using a remote control car to try and locate the target package. Meanwhile the defenders are setting up barricades, boarding up windows and seeking out their vantage point. After a couple of minutes of set up, the game really starts, and once you’re dead, you’re out for the round.
The idea is there and small team games can be the most fun when you work together. However, for a demo of an upcoming game, to have players sat idly spectating once they die just doesn’t work. We’re all new to it and yet found ourselves spending most of our time outside of the game. The shooting doesn’t feel as fluid as it did in the PS3 version, and weapons seem to have an awful ricochet. For these reasons, we couldn’t get a full feel of the game and how it plays, but you can check out what we thought of the beta version very soon.
Ivent Games Interview
Continuing the day of interviews and talks, Power Up Gaming sat down with some of the guys at Ivent Games to discuss Strength of the Sword Ultimate. Ultimate is a re-release of the third game in the series and is a fast-paced, third-person beat ’em up. It was originally released in 2013 on PlayStation 3, but Ultimate is widening its spectrum by releasing on PlayStation 4, Vita, Wii U and PC this year due to a successful Kickstarter campaign.
The amount of people that wanted to have a go with the HTC Vive virtual reality headset was remarkable. The girls at the reception desk were forced to constantly turn people away. Fortunately, we were some of the lucky few who got a chance to have a go. We don’t mind saying that, though it’s still early on in the era of VR, Steam take the award for the best VR experience. Though the PlayStation VR was good, the HTC version let us stand up and walk around in the environment. If we got too close to a wall then a barrier would come up, in-game, to let us know due to the sensors that were dotted around the room. It’s an unbelievable piece of technology and one that has to be experienced to be believed.
20 Years of PlayStation Q&A
Shuhei Yoshida provided the audience with a world of insight into the two decades that PlayStation has been around. From his proudest moment to what he believes were the revolutionary games on the original PlayStation console. It’s now over 20 years since the original system was released worldwide, from the initial idea to the global phenomenon that PlayStation is today, Yoshida was there for every step of it.
An Uncharted Retrospective Q&A
After Shuhei Yoshida’s talk there was a talk from Naughty Dog’s Arne Meyer about the life of Uncharted and the upcoming release of the Uncharted Collection. Meyer talks about how they took the aiming system from Uncharted 2 and put it in the other two games and gives some insight into why Golden Abyss wasn’t included in the trilogy. Power Up Gaming’s own Chris Mawson also took to the microphone to ask a couple of questions including if Uncharted would work in Virtual Reality.
Thank you for joining us for our coverage of EGX 2015. Stay tuned to Power Up Gaming as more details from the event will be coming shortly, and also keep an eye out for other event coverage soon.